VERNON - It’s an unusual Christmas gift that you hope you won’t have to use, but in Vernon, it saved the day twice in one week.
Dave Hudson, a member of the Silver Star Fire Department, was getting ready for work on yesterday, Jan. 3, when he heard a call come in over the radio. There was a vehicle on fire not far from his home.
Like all the other fire department members, Hudson was given a shiny new fire extinguisher from the fire chief for Christmas. He grabbed it on his way out, jumped in his truck, and rushed to the scene.
On arrival, he found an F350 pick-up truck that appeared to have caught fire due to a fluid leak. The occupants were already safely out of the vehicle, and Hudson proceeded to douse the flames with his timely Christmas gift. By the time back-up arrived from the BX-Swan Lake Fire Department, the fire was out.
“I did not think I’d be using it (extinguisher) so soon,” Hudson says. “It was a good thing he gave it to me.”
Thanks to the quick action, the pick-up truck was saved. Less than a week after receiving the extinguisher, Hudson says he’s grateful for the gift. And he’s already prepared should another incident arise.
“He (fire chief) gave me another new one last night at fire training,” he says.
Just the day before, on Monday, Jan. 2, a similar incident occurred on Old Kamloops Road when a car caught fire. An off-duty, Vernon firefighter happened to be in the right place at the right time and put out the fire using an extinguisher he had, incidentally, just given to a family member for Christmas. Further damage was prevented thanks to the swift response.
For Hudson, the odd coincidence underscores the importance of having a working fire extinguisher nearby. He even suggests keeping one in your car.
“You never know what can happen,” he says.
In both cases, trained firefighters happened to be at the scene, but Hudson stresses untrained citizens should be cautious not to put themselves in harm’s way. An extinguisher alone might not be enough to completely put out a fire, so it’s always a good idea to phone the fire department.
Given recent events, Hudson says he knows exactly what he’s getting friends and family next year. You guessed it: fire extinguishers.
“That’s all everyone is getting next Christmas,” he says.
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